Raising the Poverty Line in Taiwan Increases Welfare Recipients

Many people living barely above the poverty line in Taiwan will now have access to much needed welfare programs. Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare recently changed the maximum income eligible for welfare assistance in numerous areas of the country. The change will mean that an additional thousands of people will qualify for assistance.

The poverty line increase is broken down into low and middle income categories and will vary based on region. For those who live in a majority of Taiwan, a low-income household will now qualify with an income of NT$10,869 (US $347), instead of the previous amount of NT$10,244. The medium-low income families will see an increase from NT$15,366 to NT$16,304.

These numbers vary in the counties Kinmen and Lienchiang, which will increase the poverty line for low-income households from NT$8,798 to NT$9,769. Medium-income families can expect the line to increase from NT$13,197 to NT$14,654. Five other municipalities will raise the threshold from NT$11,066 to NT$11,860, and the remaining regions have yet to specify their intended increases.

The implications of these new poverty lines are vast, given that about 50,000 more people will have access to welfare programs in Taiwan. These programs include household living costs, education fees, and national health insurance premiums. Since one of the factors affecting a country’s economic development is health care availability, these assistance programs will aid in improving Taiwan’s overall economy and citizen well-being.

– Mary Penn

Sources: Focus Taiwan, Taipei Times
Photo: BBC